Double standards: Parliament lets Kyrgyz victims down
Being granted GSP + status under the European Union's Generalised Scheme of Preferences for developing countries enables Kyrgyzstan to benefit from trade incentives with EU member states on condition of implementing core international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainable development and good governance.
The motion of objection to this preferential status being granted was voted down by the European Parliament today by 530 to 125.
Yet, a report on Kyrgyzstan by the European Commission lists serious cases of systematic torture in police custody, neglect of women's and children's rights and discrimination against Uzbeks.
In addition, the Kyrgyz Parliament is about to adopt two highly problematic draft laws: one which will define all NGOs receiving international funding as ‘foreign agents’, and the second on ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations' which will discriminate against the LGBT population in the country, with even harsher punishments than in Russia.
It is important to seriously and constantly monitor the implementation of international conventions on human rights in the countries benefiting from the GSP+, yet this is also being prevented. For example, an expert like Mihra Rittman, representative of Human Rights Watch, was recently declared 'persona non grata' by Kyrgyz authorities and denied access to the country.
Helmut Scholz, GUE/NGL trade policy coordinator, demands: “I urge the Commission to closely follow the developments in Kyrgyzstan. The approval of the two laws against NGOs and against the freedom of sexual orientation should be considered as a serious failure to respect human rights conventions and principles, and this should lead to the suspension of GSP+.”
View the European Parliament resolution:
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20